Multiple struggles against new large dams, Portugal


Description

The “national program for dams with high hydropower potential”, known as PNBEPH, was launched by the government in 2007. These 12 new large dams, 10 from PNBEPH plus 2 more (Baixo Sabor and Ribeiradio), corresponds to 8% of total installed capacity, 4% of electricity production, and 1% of total energy demand in the country.

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Basic Data
NameMultiple struggles against new large dams, Portugal
CountryPortugal
Accuracy of LocationLOW country/state level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Water Management
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Dams and water distribution conflicts
Specific CommoditiesElectricity
Water
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsThe national program for dams with high hydropower potential, known as PNBEPH planned to add a power capacity of 1343 MW and to reach a production of 1896 GWh/year
Level of Investment (in USD) Program+New dams 1.546̣ to 3.541,000,000
Type of PopulationSemi-urban
Start Date2007
Company Names or State EnterprisesEDP - Energias de Portugal (EDP) from Portugal - Concession holder
Iberdrola Ingenieria y Construccion (Iberdrola) from Spain
Endesa (Endesa) from Spain
Relevant government actorsMinistério do Ambiente, Comissão Europeia; Agência Portuguesa do Ambiente-APA, Comissão de Coordenação e Desenvolvimento Regional do Centro CCDR‐Centro, Administração de Região Hidrográfica do Centro, Instituto de Água-INAG, Laboratório Nacional de Engenharia Civil-LNEC, Direcção-Geral do Património Cultural, Partido ecologista Os Verdes, Coligação Democrática Unitária-CDU, Partido pelos Animais e pela Natureza-PAN
International and Financial InstitutionsEuropean Central Bank (ECB)
International Monetary Fund (FMI)
European Commission (EC)
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersPlataforma Sabor Livre, Plataforma Salvar o Tua, Coordenadora de Afectados pelas Grandes Barragens e Transvases – Secção Portuguesa – COAGRET, Associação Nacional de Conservação de Natureza-Quercus, SOS Rio Paiva; Clube do Ambiente e Património do Arda e Urtigosa-URTIARDA; ; Liga para a proteção da Natureza-LPN, Plataforma Mondego Vivo, Associação dos Amigos do rio Mondego, Fundo para a Proteção dos Animais Selvagens-FAPAS, Grupo de Ação e Intervenção Ambiental-GAIA, Grupo de Estudos de Ordenamento do Território e Ambiente-GEOTA, Movimento Cidadania para o Desenvolvimento no Tâmega, Sociedade Portuguesa para o Estudo das Aves-SPEA, associação espanhola Ecologistas en Acción; Associação de Municípios do Alto Tâmega-AMAT; Associação Cívica e Ecológica Os Amigos do Rio, Olho Vivo; Associação de Municípios do Baixo Sabor-AMBS; Bird Life International; European Rivers Network; European Youth For Action; Associação dos Amigos do Vale do Tua-AAVT; Acção, Liberdade, Desenvolvimento, Educação, Investigação, Ambiente-ALDEIA
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Informal workers
International ejos
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Pastoralists
Social movements
Recreational users
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of MobilizationCreation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Development of alternative proposals
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Refusal of compensation
Impacts
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation
Potential: Desertification/Drought, Food insecurity (crop damage), Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Health ImpactsPotential: Occupational disease and accidents, Deaths, Other environmental related diseases
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Violations of human rights
Potential: Displacement, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Outcome
Project StatusPlanned (decision to go ahead eg EIA undertaken, etc)
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCompensation
Strengthening of participation
New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
Project cancelled
Project temporarily suspended
Development of AlternativesLocal communities and ejos don’t want the implementation of the new dams, as it only responds to companies and state’s interest.

They also propose the increase in the installed capacity of the existing dams in place of constructing new ones.
Do you consider this as a success?Not Sure
Why? Explain briefly.Although the campaigns against the project had some successful results at the international level (the case of Padroselos dam and Tua dam), the project is still ongoing, despite local mobilizations, international campaigns, public appeals and even UNESCOs declaration of the area as a World Heritage (wine region where the Tua dam is located).
Sources and Materials
Legislations

Decree-Law n.o 226-A/2007 May 31th

Changes in the scheme for both public and private use of water resources
[click to view]

Decree-Law n.º 151-B/2013 October 31th

Changes on the environmental impact assessment of the effects of public and private projects
[click to view]

References

MELO, J. J. Not sustainable: the sad business of Portuguese new dams. CENSE ‐ Centre for Environment and Sustainability Research, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia da Universidade Nova de Lisboa, IAIA 2012-2nd Annual Conference of the International Association for Impact Assessment, 2012.
[click to view]

PATACHO, Domingos. A barragem do Baixo Sabor: um caso de má aplicação da avaliação de impactes ambientais. CNAI ́10-4ª Conferência Nacional de Avaliação de Impactes, Vila Real, 20-22 Out. 2010.
[click to view]

MELO, J. J. Public works policy in Portugal: a case study in unsustainability. International Journal of Engineering and Industrial Management, n. 1, p. 195-208. 2009.
[click to view]

SANS, Judit S. Participação social na gestão dos recursos hídricos. Olhar sobre o conflito da barragem do Baixo Sabor. Universidade Nova de Lisboa: Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Dissertação, 2010.
[click to view]

MELO, J.J.; CHAINHO , P.; FRÁGUAS, B.; SANTOS, P.T.; PATACHO, D. A barragem do Baixo Sabor: um caso de má aplicação da avaliação de impactes ambientais. CNAI ́10-4a Conferência Nacional de Avaliação de Impactes. APAI/UTAD, Vila Real, 20-22 Out., 2010./resumos publicados em brochura, comunicações em CD.
[click to view]

Links

Plataforma Salvar o Tua
[click to view]

Plataforma Mondego Vivo
[click to view]

Movimento Cidadania para o Desenvolvimento no Tâmega
[click to view]

SOS Rio Paiva
[click to view]

AGÊNCIA LUSA. Mais de 400 canoas desceram o Mondego contra construção de mini-hídrica. Público, 2 Mai. 2011.
[click to view]

LUSA. Barragem do Sabor começa a produzir energia no final do ano, Observador, 7 Set. 2014.
[click to view]

RTP. Chumbo do Ministério: Mexilhão trava uma das quatro barragens do Alto Tâmega, 22 Jun. 2010
[click to view]

DIÁRIO AGRÁRIO. Suspensão das minihídricas: LPN congratula-se com a decisão. Blog, Agro Notícias Portugal, 14 Mar. 2012.
[click to view]

COSTA, Maria João. Barragem ameaça achados arqueológicos com mais de 10 mil anos. Renascença, 27 Ago. 2014.
[click to view]

DIÁRIO LIBERDADE. EDP e Estado não estão a cumprir imposições da Unesco para a barragem do Foz Tua. Diário Liberdade, Consumo e Meio Ambiente, 11 Jun. 2014.
[click to view]

Coordenadora de Afetados pelas Grandes Barragens e Transvases-COAGRET
[click to view]

Media Links

Tamega dam
[click to view]

Foz Tua dam
[click to view]

Other Documents

[click to view]

[click to view]

Other CommentsThe GPS refers to center Portugal.

Sabor river Dam (Moncorvo/ Bragança/Trás-os-Montes) GPS: 41.1765100; -7.1110800;  Tâmega river dams (Amarante/Celorico de Basto) GPS: 41.390072, -7.960309; Tua river dam (Alijó/Vila Real) GPS: 41.211609; -7.430940; Vouga river dams (Ribeiradio/Oliveira de Frades e Ermida/Sever do Vouga) GPS: 40.742478; -8.319434; mini hydropower plant Foz do Caneio (Penacova/Coimbra) GPS: 40.177844; -8.319884; mini hydropower plants Paiva river (Arouca/Viseu) GPS: 41.028511; -8.225814
Meta Information
ContributorLúcia Fernandes, Sofia Bento and Teresa Meira
Last update09/03/2015
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